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Fukushima News 3/12/14:*Just In* “Radioactive Metal from Fukushima” Detected in Pacific Northwest

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MissingSky101

Published on 12 Mar 2014

*Just In* Scientists Raise Alarm: “Radioactive metal from Fukushima” detected in Pacific Northwest — Concern for impact on humans, west coast ecosystems — Continuing contamination crossing ocean, not going away soon — “A surprise… This is an international issue… Gov’t should be doing something”
http://enenews.com/scientists-raise-a…

Radiation surge detailed in 2011 accident
Data recorded by radiation monitoring posts near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant show the environmental radiation level rose sharply 1 hour before a hydrogen explosion took place at the plant.
14 monitoring posts around the plant recorded the radiation level every 20 seconds after the plant was damaged by the earthquake and tsunami on March 11th of 2011.
Data recorded by one of the monitoring posts, located 5.6 kilometers northwest of the plant, show that the radiation level began surging after 2:10 PM on March 12th.
At 2:40 and 40 seconds, the post measured 4.6 millisieverts per hour, the highest level of the day. That was about 1 hour before a hydrogen explosion occurred at the No.1 reactor of the plant.
The data suggest the accumulated doses of radiation would have reached 1 millisievert in about 20 minutes. 1 millisievert is the annual exposure limit for ordinary people.
Masamichi Chino, senior researcher at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, says the rise in the environmental radiation level may have been caused by an emergency operation to protect the No.1 reactor by reducing pressure within the containment vessel. Tokyo Electric Power officials began the so-called vent work at around 2:00 PM.
The vented air was released after going through water to reduce the amount of radioactive cesium. The step is intended to reduce the substance to 1 thousandth of its original level. But the measure may not have been effective.
Chino says the data can help researchers investigate how radioactive substances were released into the atmosphere and study the effectiveness of the venting process.

US nuclear expert calls for strict safety measures
A US nuclear expert has stressed the need to prepare for accidents at nuclear power plants, saying there is no way to completely prevent them.
A former chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Gregory Jaczko, spoke to NHK in Tokyo on Tuesday, the 3rd anniversary of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Jaczko noted that the plant is still releasing radioactive materials through contaminated water.
He said someone who is considerate of people’s health and the environment should lead the workers at the plant. He also called for thorough explanations to be given to the people who had to leave their homes.
Jaczko said nuclear plants in Japan are less likely to have accidents thanks to the new safety measures that were introduced after the Fukushima disaster.

Official: Japan will be ruined if public doesn’t realize they’re being exposed to Fukushima radiation — “99.99% of the people are being sacrificed” — Rest of world will be taken down too (AUDIO)
http://enenews.com/lawmaker-if-japane…

THREE YEARS AFTER: Majority of Japan’s nuclear reactors face bleak future
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disa…

‘Inadequate equipment, workforce for Fukushima decontamination’
http://rt.com/op-edge/fukushima-decon…

Japan’s Lower House speaker voices opposition against nuclear energy at 3/11 memorial
http://japandailypress.com/japans-low…

Sendai nuclear plant expected to be one of the first to go back online
http://japandailypress.com/sendai-nuc…

A nuclear reactor designed to burn up surplus Cold War plutonium has been closed by the US Department of Energy. Initially it was meant to cost $1bn. So far it has cost $4bn. To complete and operate would cost $25-34bn.
http://www.theecologist.org/News/news…

All WIPP employees will help in cleanup of nuclear site
Dept. of Energy approves recovery plan for site of nuclear waste repository
http://www.currentargus.com/carlsbad-…

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March 12, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Will we get an online bill of rights? – Truthloader comments on Sir Tim Berners-Lee statement – Breaking!

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Truthloader

Published on 12 Mar 2014

Earlier today, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the world wide web, made an unprecedented call. Speaking on the 25th anniversary of his creation, Sir Tim said there needed to be a “Magna Carta”-style bill of rights to protect web users — otherwise the online community could end up just continuing down a road towards more and more government surveillance. While all this sounds great however, we’re sceptical that governments would ever agree to such a bill. Here’s just a few reasons why.

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Japan – Nuclear lobby still gagging independent coverage three years after disaster

The six-place fall of the past year is partly attributable to the Japanese Diet’s adoption of a special intelligence protection bill on 26 November that will allow the government to classify any sensitive information as a “state secret.”

http://foreignaffairs.co.nz/2014/03/12/japan-nuclear-lobby-still-gagging-independent-coverage-three-years-after-disaster/

March 12, 2014
Reporters Without Borders deplores the climate of censorship and self-censorship that continues to prevail in discussion of nuclear energy in Japan three years after the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, 250 km north of Tokyo.

In particular, Reporters Without Borders condemns the treatment of independent journalists and bloggers who are critical of the government and the nuclear energy lobby, dubbed the “nuclear village” by its detractors.

The latest example is a “criminal contempt” complaint against freelance journalist and blogger Mari Takenouchi for a tweet about a project by an NGO called Ethos for encouraging the population to keep living in areas contaminated with radioactivity, which she described as “human experiments.”

“The complaint brought against Mari Takenouchi is yet another example of the way groups linked to the nuclear energy lobby are trying to gag opposing views,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk.

“By criticizing the programme to encourage inhabitants to keep living in still radioactive areas, this journalist is just documenting a legitimate and well-substantiated concern about the health risks linked to radiation. We urge the head of Ethos, Ryoko Ando, to withdraw her complaint against Takenouchi, which acts as a deterrent to all independent news providers.

“As we feared in 2012, the freedom to inform and be informed continues to be restricted by the ‘nuclear village’ and government, which are trying to control coverage of their handling of the aftermath of this disaster. Its long-term consequences are only now beginning to emerge and coverage of the health risks and public health issues is more important than ever.”

Continue reading

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Summary of Speakers comments at the Houses of Parliament Fukushima debate on the 10 March 2014

“there is a need for Japan to allow psychological therapeutic treatments available more widely and I hope that the UN and International community might help with this” said Geoff

“The next industrial revolution will be renewable”

“we cant evacuate children and we cant certify the safety for their return so we will not move children” Prefectoral official

Chantelle said that “Swiss energy policy hopes to see smaller decentralised methods of electricity production that would be safer and more efficient.”

Reported by Arclight2011

12 March 2014

posted to nuclear-news.net

The Meeting was at the houses of Parliament in London on the 10 March 2014 and there were 6 speakers covering a range of topics as outlined below. An Audio file of the event has been uploaded by Fatima and can be accessed here; https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xgvnka0nj50hzof/QczME2MYJI  A video should be available soon.

P1020826

Image courtesy of the Childrens Psychotherapeutic Art Project Japan

The first part of the session was presented by Rik from Kick Nuclear
P1020815He began by highlighting the difference in explosions at reactor 3 and the other explosions at the Daichi Nuclear power plant site.

Rik then discussed the levles of contamination and showed that a much larger area should be evacuated especially as the term “cold shutdown” that TEPCO and the Japanese Government were claiming and which was even verified by the International Atomic and Energy Association (IAEA) in 2011. This points to collusion between the IAEA and the Japanese nuclear lobby.

Rik also mentioned at this point that the Earthquake was the cause and showed photographic evidence and early measurements of Xenon near the Daichi site perimeter fence before the Tsunami hit.

Rik then went on to discuss the issue of reactor design pointing to the pipes at the bottom of the reactor containment vessel being a serious defect in safety design. He then went on to explain the possible flow of the corium (melted fuel rod bundles) from this chamber making its way through the suppression chamber located to the side of the reactor containment vessel.

Also, the topic of actual measurements on the site were mentioned, specifically, that up to 70 Sieverts per hour had been measured at the meltdown sites and this would make clean up and decommissioning very difficult. Only 6 Sieverts an hour can kill quickly.

“This shows that TEPCO are prevaricating” Rik said.

0bd9f-fukushima_unit3

Touching on groundwater issues being of concern it was mentioned that the reactor site is above a water course and on land that is prone to subsidence and that this causes worries concerning the Spent fuel pools that are atop the reactor vessels and a possible future threat to anyone downwind of this nuclear disaster site.

Next to speak was Dr Paul Dorfmann

First Dr Dorfmann talked of the difficulties in moving the nuclear fuel from the site.

He said “A huge amount of radiation has been found”. P1020820

He then mentioned that health effects can not be assessed owing to the lack of data and information coming from official sources in Japan. However, he points out that the official allowable radiation limit of 20 mSv/y, is not taking into account children and pregnant women and is actually designed for Adult male nuclear workers.

Dr Dorfman also points out that although Thyroid cancer is treatable other effects post operation should not be dismissed as readily as some in the health profession dismisses them.

“The treatable effects on life should not be ignored” said Dr Dorfmann

Dr Dorfmann then went on to discuss nuclear costs as a major downside of the nuclear industry citing that the cost of the Fukushima cleanup has been estimated to cost more than1.5 billion in future years whilst the insurance cover is a mere 169 million Euro. He said that if nuclear was fully insured to cover these accidents that the costs of nuclear energy from this single issue, would increase the cost of nuclear by some 60 percent. He also stated that this would increase domestic bills by some 25 percent.

“nuclear is simply not insurable” Dr Dorfmann stated

Continue reading

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Fukushima is a mirror to the world of nuclear nightmare:

Deadly Fukushima Crisis Further Corrodes Viability of Nuclear Energy, Tuesday, 11 March 2014   By H Patricia HynesTruthout | Op-Ed”……..Fukushima is a mirror to the world of nuclear nightmare: core meltdowns still not understood or under control; precariously perched fuel rods threatening catastrophe throughout Japan and beyond; hundreds of thousands of nuclear refugees and desperate nuclear workers living in anomie; ongoing radioactive contamination of the Pacific Ocean; and collusive government and industry locked in an entitled estate of denial and secrecy against the will of the country’s citizens.

Promoting nuclear power as a “low-carbon” alternative to fossil fuels – as some prominent climate change scientists are doing – is a myopic bargain with the devil. New generations of safer nuclear power plants that purportedly would reduce the risk of ruinous Fukushima-like accidents are decades away from market readiness, too late for stemming the climate change juggernaut. Much more far-sighted is the charismatic former prime minister of Japan, Junichiro Koizumi, an erstwhile nuclear power promoter. Since Fukushima, he calls for abandoning nuclear power, given its mammoth costs and Japan’s seismically active coast, and for his country to unite in creating a renewable society unparalleled in the world. Such a social movement, he foresees, would lift the country’s public spirit and recharge its economy.

Scrapping nuclear power has palpably sped the transition to efficiency and renewable energy. In 2012, Fukushima prefecture signed an agreement to build the country’s largest solar park, and in 2013 Fukushima announced plans to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm – both part of the prefecture’s plan to generate 100 percent of its electricity using renewable sources by 2040. Countries in Europe with the most ambitious solar and wind goals are phasing out nuclear power (Germany) or have adopted a no-nuclear power policy (Denmark and Portugal).

As for the United States, we have enough resource capacity to power the United States with solar and wind. Wind energy in the Great Plains and solar energy in the Southwest could meet current electrical energy needs more than a dozen times over, and this estimate does not include the capacity of offshore wind. Critically acclaimed studies, among them one conducted by researchers Jacobson of Stanford and Delucchi of the University of California-Davis, have laid out a roadmap for energy policy in the next two to four decades, using solely a mix of energy efficiency, wind, water and solar technologies.

In July 2012, an under-the-radar research laboratory within the US Department of Energy (DOE) – the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) – released an initial investigatory report on the potential for renewable energy. The report is, in DOE’s words, “the most comprehensive analysis of high-penetration renewable electricity of the continental United States to date.” The major finding of the Renewable Electricity Futures Study supports a nuclear-free, zero-carbon renewable energy future:

Renewable electricity generation from technologies that are commercially available today, in combination with a more flexible electric system, is more than adequate to supply 80% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2050 while meeting demand on an hourly basis in every region of the country.

The age of renewables will arrive when fossil fuels and nuclear power decline irreversibly, predicted German economist and renewable energy pioneer Hermann Scheer, stimulating renewables to increase irreversibly. The path to this age of renewables is political will forged by the will of the people – a struggle reinforced by Fukushima that ensues today in Japan and worldwide. http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/21551-deadly-fukushima-crisis-further-corrodes-viability-of-nuclear-energy

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Deception is essential for the nuclear industry to survive

“Should the public discover the true health cost of nuclear pollution, a cry would rise from all parts of the world and people would refuse to cooperative passively with their own death.”

Thus the desperate drive – in which a largely compliant mainstream media have been complicit – to deny the Fukushima catastrophe, a disaster deeply affecting life on Earth.

No one died, no one’s health was damaged’ – Fukushima’s big lie The Ecologist, Karl Grossman 8th March 2014 The nuclear industry and its media cheerleaders have raised a chorus of misinformation over Fukushima, writes Karl Grossman. But their attempts to suppress the truth are ultimately doomed to failure.

With the third anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe coming next week, the attempted Giant Lie about the disaster continues – a suppression of information, an effort at dishonesty of historical dimensions.

It involves international entities, especially the International Atomic Energy Agency, national governmental bodies – led in Japan by its current prime minister, the powerful nuclear industry and a global ‘nuclear village’ of scientists and others with a vested interest in atomic energy.

text-lies-by-IAEA

Deception was integral to the push for nuclear power from its start. Continue reading

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Plutonium and/or Americium reached Carlsbad, New Mexico

TV: Officials now confirm Plutonium and/or Americium reached Carlsbad, New Mexico’s 10th most populated city — Container of radioactive waste may have “blew up” (VIDEO)  http://enenews.com/tv-officials-now-confirm-plutonium-andor-americium-reached-carlsbad-10th-most-populated-city-in-new-mexico-container-of-radioactive-waste-may-have-blew-up-video?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

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Australia’s Dr John White and the secretive schemes for thorium nuclear power

secret-agent-AustThe Liberal Party’s nuclear dreams: The strange case of Dr John White and Ignite,Independent Australia Sandi Keane 12 March 2014,   

Why were Ignite Energy so desparate to dissociate their director Dr John White from both the nuclear industry and the Liberal Party? Deputy editor Sandi Keaneinvestigates.

IS THE nuclear fantasy that has taken hold in South Australia poised to slip under Victoria’s ‘no nukes‘ radar?

More to the point, is the iconic Ninety Mile Beach region of Gippsland being eyed off as a future source of thorium – uranium’s young sister – the substance hailed by nuclear proponents as the green energy source of the future?………

Enquiries to both the Sydney and Melbourne offices of Ignite confirmed that, yes, Dr White was still one of its key people — manager, government and community liaison. Less than five months ago, he was introduced as Ignite’s “executive director” in an interview with the ABC’s The World Today on 17 October 2013. Indeed, the receptionist at Ignite thought that the ‘executive director’ title was still listed on Dr White’s CV.

So, why delete it from the website and have conniptions over us publishing his connections to the Uranium Industry Framework? Also, what did Megan Davison mean by ‘casting aspersions’? Was it the reference to his being ‘a key Liberal Party adviser in the Howard-era’?

As chair of Howard’s Uranium Industry Framework and mastermind of the business plan for the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (now renamed the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Co-operation), ‘key adviser’ hardly seems to do him justice.

Is this a reaction to the claims by members of the Gippsland community that Ignite is getting favourable treatment because of John White’s special relationship with the Liberal Party?

ELA4968’s thorium prospects Continue reading

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USA’s Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication (MOX) Facility put on ice

MOXOutsmarting the MOX POGO 7 Mar 14 The Project On Government Oversight is pleased to note that in the President’s FY 2015 budget, released this week, a Department of Energy billion-dollar boondoggle has been put on “cold-standby.” This particular boondoggle would be the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication (MOX) Facility at the Savannah River Nuclear Site in South Carolina.

The MOX facility was designed to convert weapons-grade plutonium into mixed oxide fuel for U.S. commercial nuclear reactors as part of a diplomatic deal with Russia. The budget for the whole project was originally $1.6 billion with an operational date sometime in 2007. But costs have steadily gone up and up as the completion date gets moved again and again. Almost one year ago the Government Accountability Office released a report stating that the cost had risen to $7.7 billion and operations would not begin until November 2019, twelve years after the initially planned start date.

A confidential study recently conducted by the Energy Department reports that yet another cost increase may have been the final nail in the coffin for MOX. The construction costs alone could be as high at $10 billion over the next five years, while operations costs could be an additional $34 billion over the next 15 years.

This astronomical cost increase, in addition to the $4 billion that has already been spent on construction of the facility, is all for a project that doesn’t have a single customer…….http://www.pogo.org/blog/2014/03/20140307-outsmarting-the-mox.html

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Russia wants a slice of the action in Britain’s new nuclear power

Russian-BearRussian state nuclear firm in talks to build power station in the UK  The Guardian, Wednesday 12 March 2014  Rosatom meeting Whitehall officials but experts say a Russian VVER reactor is unlikely to open in UK for at least 10 years Britain is in talks with the Russian state nuclear company about building a nuclear power station in the UK, an official said on Tuesday.Hergen Haye, head of new nuclear development at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), told students at Edinburgh University that active discussions were taking place in London after amemorandum of understanding had been signed with Russia. “I can tell you that, behind closed doors and with microphones switched off, there are interesting debates happening in Whitehall,” he said. “Russia wants to build a nuclear power station in the UK.”

Haye chairs a UK-Russian working group on nuclear power, and was in Russia recently for discussions. Haye regards the Russian VVER reactor proposed for the UK as “perfectly safe”, but he cautioned that there would be problems convincing the public that a deal with Russia was acceptable, especially given the current crisis in the Crimea. “It’s a long road, a very long road,” he said…..A memorandum of understanding between DECC and the Russian state nuclear corporation, Rosatom, was signed in September 2013. It agreed a programme of co-operation “designed to be the most effective means of enabling Rosatom to prepare for entry into the United Kingdom civil nuclear market.”

The plan was to give Rosatom access to the UK government’s watchdogs, the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency, so that it could understand British regulatory and licencing requirements. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills “will have detailed discussions with Rosatom to facilitate commercial links with United Kingdom’s industry,” the memorandum said.

Rosatom has already formed a partnership with the British nuclear engineering company, Rolls Royce. “The participants hope that this relationship will lead to joint projects in the United Kingdom and overseas,” said the memorandum.

Russia is also reported to have signed a deal with the Finnish power company, Fortum. It operates two Russian VVER reactors near Loviisa in Finland. In his lecture, Haye highlighted the difficulties of getting private companies to invest in something as commercially risky as nuclear power. He defended the £89.50 per megawatt hour “strike price” for electricity agreed with the French state nuclear company, EDF, for 35 years. This was essential to secure investment in the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset, he argued. The UK is also seeking Chinese investment in the nuclear station, and has signed a memorandum of understanding with China.

According to Haye, securing money from the Chinese was one of the remaining barriers to actually starting work on the Hinkley station. Another was winning agreement from the European Commission that the strike price deal didn’t breach state aid rules. The commission has announced that it is investigating the funding arrangements for Hinkley. Hay said he was about to embark upon a tour of European capitals to try and win backing for the UK’s position……http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/11/russian-nuclear-firm-build-power-station-uk

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Japan plans to develop a giant plutonium stockpile

The US struggles to make Japan fear nuclear terrorism, Global Post, 11 Mar 14 A behind-the-scenes debate over Japan’s plans to develop a giant plutonium stockpile

Already, Japan has 9.3 metric tons of plutonium stored at Rokkasho and nine other sites in the island nation, along with around 35 tons of plutonium stored in France and the United Kingdom. 

Japan’s plans to develop a giant plutonium stockpile reveals big cultural clashes. ROKKASHO, Japan — Sporting turquoise-striped walls and massive steel cooling towers, the new industrial complex rising from bluffs astride the Pacific Ocean here looks like it might produce consumer electronics or bath salts.

But in reality it is one of the world’s newest, largest, and most controversial production plants for nuclear explosives. The factory’s private owners said three months ago that after several decades of construction, it will be ready to open in October, as part of a government-supported effort to create special fuel for the country’s future nuclear power plants.

Japan’s leaders affirmed last month they intend to proceed with that effort, a decision that has stoked anxiety in East Asia and set off alarms among Western experts who worry about the spread of nuclear weapons technology — including some inside the Obama administration.

Once it is running, the plant will produce thousands of gallon-sized steel canisters containing a flour-like mixture of uranium and plutonium, in theory capable of providing the building blocks for a huge nuclear arsenal. Continue reading

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USA could have 100% renewable energy

100 Per Cent Renewable Energy is Viable: Study A study by scientists from Stanford University claims that it is feasible for the entire United States to derive all of its power from renewable energy sources. http://sourceable.net/100-per-cent-renewable-energy-viable-study/, 11 Mar 14, The team of researchers from Stanford University, led by civil engineerMark Jacobson, has drafted detailed plans outlining how every state in the United States could convert to 100 per cent renewable energy usage by mid-century using current technology. According to Jacobson, even if the United States only makes recourse to renewable energy methods which are available at present, it would still be “technically and economically feasible” for the nation to meet all of its power needs by 2050.

Under Jacobson’s plan, fossil fuel plants would be left to gradually go obsolete as a swath of renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, geothermal and hydropower, come on line to replace them.

All of the renewable energy sources outlined in the plan, with the exception of tidal energy collectors for coastal states, are now commercially available. The researchers’ findings indicate that in California, which is the most populous  and economically productive state in the US, wind, solar and hydropower could already be used to satisfy energy requirements 99.8 per cent of the time.

Jacobson’s proposal also contains plans for the abolition of fossil fuel combustion as a means of propelling automobiles. In lieu of carbon heavy combustion engines, vehicles would run on electric batteries or hydrogen produced via electrolysis, thus dispensing with the need for natural gas to run the process.

Jacobson said the plan is a model of affordability as well as efficiency. It would take less than two per cent of the land area of the United States to support all of the renewable energy facilities envisioned by the plan, including the space between individual installations such as wind turbines and solar PV panels.

The plan would also enable the average US consumer to save $3,400 per year as compared to the country’s current fossil fuel-heavy energy portfolio, as a result of anticipated gains in the price of raw materials such as oil and coal, given their increasing scarcity as finite resources.

Other advantages of the plan touted by its developers include savings of $730 billion a year for the US economy in climate-related costs, and savings of between $166 billion and 980 billion a year in savings a year on health care costs, achieved by preventing approximately annual 59,000 deaths from air pollution.

Given the practical viability and demonstrable advantages of opting for renewable energy, the Stanford researchers believe “the greatest barriers to conversion are neither technical nor economic…they are social and political.” Jacobson nonetheless remains confident that his proposals will eventually be adopted – if not because of the prudence and foresight of policy-makers, then because of the mere fact that fossil fuels are finite in nature and destined to run out sooner or later.

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Geothermal energy a renewable energy option for Japan

Hear-This-wayAudio Nuclear Alternative Faces Pushback In Japan By Eliza Strickland In Japan, all of the country’s 48 operational nuclear reactors are currently shut down for safety checks. It’s been three years since Japan’s nuclear disaster, when a tsunami knocked out the electricity at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and caused the meltdown of three reactor cores.

The Japanese people are not keen on restarting the nuclear plants, but that means Japan desperately needs alternative sources of energy. From Japan, Eliza Strickland of IEEE Spectrum magazine reports on one renewable energy source that’s causing some controversy. Every Friday evening in downtown Tokyo, protesters gather outside the prime minister’s house to rally against his nuclear energy policies. In a recent poll by a major Japanese broadcaster, 60 percent of respondents said they disagreed with the government’s plan to restart nuclear plants.

But if Japan wants to give up nuclear power without relying on fossil fuels, it will have to develop its renewable energy sector. Experts say one bright spot for Japan is its excellent geothermal energy reserves — essentially, reservoirs of hot steam trapped miles underground. Utility companies can drill down to that steam, then use the steam to power turbines and produce electricity……..http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2014/03/11/geothermal-japan-fukushima

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Taiwanese activist demand local referendums on nuclear power

Activists push for local nuclear polls Taipei Times By Lee I-chia 11 Mar 14 Anti-nuclear supporters yesterday called for an amendment to the Nuclear Reactor Facilities Control Act (核子反應器設施管制法) to allow local referendums for residents to decide whether nuclear plants should be built within 50km of their homes.

The amendment was suggested by former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) at a public hearing to discuss evacuation zones for nuclear reactors hosted by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator You Meinu (尤美女) at the Legislative Yuan yesterday.

Lu said that according to Article 11 of the Act on Sites for the Establishment of Low-Level Radioactive Waste Final Disposal Facilities (低放射性廢棄物最終處置設施場址設置條例), sites for building nuclear waste final depositories must be approved by local residents through referendums.

And while nuclear power plants, with fuel rods in the reactors and highly radioactive nuclear waste stored in the spent-fuel pools, pose greater risks to nearby residents than low-level nuclear waste, the law should be amended so that people living within 50km of plant sites can decide on the construction, installation of fuel rods and operation of reactors through local referendums, she said.

DPP Legislator Chen Ou-po (陳歐珀) said the issue of nuclear power safety includes three aspects — the reactors, disaster response measures and waste treatment………

Yenliao Anti-Nuclear Self-Help Association secretary-general Yang Mu-huo (楊木火) said he is worried that the northeastern monsoon wind will blow airborne substances from the plant to Shuangsi District (雙溪) in New Taipei City, where the catchment area of the Peishih River (北勢溪) — the water source of the Feitsui Reservoir (翡翠水庫) — is located.

“Spent nuclear fuel is like ‘shit’ from the reactors, and it is ridiculous that proposals for building reactors can gain approval, because it’s like building a house with no toilet to ‘deal with the shit,’” association member Yang Kuei-yin (楊貴英) said……

After complaining that residents were led to sites by the sea in previous nuclear disaster drills, which would be deadly if a complex disaster were to occur, like that in Fukushima, Japan, which included a major tsunami, she suggested that drills without warnings be held to see if the government is as well-prepared as it claims……http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2014/03/12/2003585462

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Okuma, Fukushima’s radioactive ghost town

When Okuma’s former residents get past the guards at the roadblock on the road into their hometown, they enter a beautiful post-apocalyptic landscape………. They can’t see the poison all around them, but the numbers on their dosimeters tell the tale 

You Can’t Go Home Again Is the Japanese government finally giving up on resettling Fukushima’s radioactive ghost town? Foreign Policy, BY ELIZA STRICKLAND MARCH 11, 2014 ore former residents can enter the radioactive ghost town of Okuma, just a few miles from the ruins of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, they must first get a permit from Japanese bureaucrats, who then advise them on protective measures. They’ll need to suit up before they go in: Disposable paper coveralls, booties, gloves, caps, and facemasks will keep them safe enough for an hour’s visit. The officials suggest they bring a dosimeter so they’ll know exactly what radiation dose they’re receiving as they walk through the desolate streets to their empty houses, and can avoid lingering in the most dangerous places.

Yet until recently, the Japanese government has maintained the politically expedient fiction that this town would soon be fit for habitation once more. The residents of Okuma are among the roughly 100,000 nuclear refugees who are still barred from their homes
…….Fallout settled on rooftops and lawns and driveways, on rice paddies and orchards, on roads and forests. The evacuated towns are still laced with the radioactive isotope Cesium-137, which has a half-life of 30 years.

In the years since the accident, the Japanese government first set out to map the region’s radioactive hotspots, and then began a massivedecontamination effort. A total of 100 municipalities were marked for cleanup, with 11 of those designated areas of special concern. Gradually, towns that weren’t too contaminated — those on the periphery of the evacuation zone — are being reopened for inhabitants. Right now, residents of the town of Tamura are anxiously awaiting the April 1 lifting of the evacuation order for their area, although many say they’re still worried about health consequences of moving back.

The government had stated that this strategy of cleanup and resettlement would continue apace, and would eventually reach Okuma and the other highly contaminated towns. Perhaps in a few years, officials had suggested, Okuma’s displaced residents would be able to safely resume their lives.

But the facts are clear:    Some evacuated towns will be poisoned for decades to come, and their residents can’t go home again. It’s a tragedy, of that there’s no question. But perhaps the greater injustice is that these refugees were kept living in limbo for three years, denied the truth by a government that didn’t have the political bravery to speak it.

 Okuma, a prosperous coastal burg of about 11,000 farmers, fishers, and nuclear workers, was one of the first towns evacuated during the Fukushima crisis. Around dawn on the morning of March 12, 2011, Okuma Mayor Toshitsuna Watanabe received the order to get his citizens out. He kept watch as fire trucks crawled through the streets and blared instructions, then shepherded his people onto buses that would take them over a ridge of mountains to a town about 30 miles away, where they’d take shelter in a gymnasium………
According to Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority, towns can be reinhabited if residents would be exposed to less than 20 millisieverts of radiation per year, a typical safety threshold for nuclear workers. The government has also said that its long-term goal is to reduce radiation doses in the evacuation zone to 1 millisievert per year, though even the IAEA has gently suggested that such a target is unrealistic. (For comparison’s sake, a medical CT scan usually has a dose of 1 to 10 millisieverts.)
According to Watanabe, the current measurements show that anyone who went back to live in Okuma would have a dose of over 50 millisieverts per year. So the government, eager to make its case that the problem could be fixed, performed a decontamination pilot study at residential neighborhoods, forest areas, and farms. The efforts were largely unsuccessful. Workers found it impossible to purify every nook and cranny of the houses, and bushwhacking through the woodlands to remove loam and underbrush proved to be a frankly ridiculous undertaking…….
For three years, many of Watanabe’s citizens have lived in temporary quarters in the cities where they’ve taken refuge, and have received monthly payments from TEPCO to keep them going during their adversity. In late December, however, the government instructed TEPCO to change its compensation policy. Now each evacuee who won’t be able to return home during his or her lifetime is entitled to $66,000 in compensation for the loss, as well as additional money to help purchase a new home elsewhere. The government hasn’t made any official announcement that it’s writing off a portion of Japan, but it is quietly acknowledging that it can’t clean up Okuma and the other terribly tainted towns during the displaced residents’ lifetimes. It’s time for them to start over.
When Okuma’s former residents get past the guards at the roadblock on the road into their hometown, they enter a beautiful post-apocalyptic landscape………. They can’t see the poison all around them, but the numbers on their dosimeters tell the tale http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/03/11/you_can_t_go_home_again_fukushima_japan_radioactive_ghost_towns

March 12, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment